I think Debbie and LGF have got the Laura Bush trip backwards in the last 24 hours. In a rush to be all over the story and condemn her they have gone into overdrive.
Selecting one of a number of photos from the Whitehouse site – where Mrs Bush is seen with a group of women in a scarf – Debbie and LGF have misled people by concluding Mrs Bush has sold out and donned an abaya, a large black overcoat that comes with and without a built in hood and face mask – one of the most Islamic pieces of garb you can throw on. That’s rather unfair. She was wearing a dark trouser suit – and draped on a head scarf, rather loosely, I believe – out of respect for the women she was with. My guess is it was a present since it is trimmed in pink and bows. So what? Wearing an abaya (and i may yet be proven to be wrong!) would be indicative of so called ‘dhimmitude’. Wearing a head scarf for a pic and i think reluctantly at that (the one other shot of her shows her pulling at it – if she was sitting around happily in that all day there would have been plenty for the Whitehouse to choose from) is not! Her polite efforts and respect were for the women she was supporting.
That previous startling image of her with a group dressed in crummy black sacks in the (more westernised!?) UAE, stood out for all the right reasons: her encouragement of a good deed, yes, but also the striking differences of appearance. Suffice it to say that the images speak to the debate on clerical fascism.
Maybe Laura Bush has encouraged some women in the ME through both her status, support, dress and her manner. She was never going to get out of the trip without a bit of ‘butt kissing’ the Saudi princes (as Debbie calls it) referring to this pic above. Yeah its all wrong. But hang on – this image shows Laura Bush sitting pretty in that lovely trouser suit, no veil, sparkly earrings, donning a gracious smile opposite the Prince of Saudi in his bloody palace – without a veil on – no abaya – strong and independent – there on her own – contributing something positive. Thats the image and message to shout about! (So I am).
(ok, as I finished defending Laura I note someone on Debbies site has posted the following re that headscarf from a news article: "At the end of the meeting, Amoudi presented Bush with a gift from the group — a black head scarf adorned with two pink ribbons stitched on the sides. Bush draped it over her hair briefly as the women beamed and moved in closer for photos.")